Researchers at Plymouth University have found that playing Tetris for as little as three minutes could reduce the cravings for food, cigarettes and alcohol.
Tetris is a hugely popular tile matching video game created in Moscow in 1984.
The visual stimulation the game provides could reduce the naturally-occurring cravings that we all endeavour for long enough to ward them off.
Psychologists at Plymouth University believe that it would be a “quick and manageable fix” for people in a headlock with diets, smoking or alcohol.
The research was developed by PhD student Jessica Skorka-Brown, alongside professors Jackie Andrade and Jon May, from the university’s Cognition Institute.
“Feeling in control is an important part of staying motivated, and playing Tetris can potentially help the individual to stay in control when cravings strike,” Professor Andrade said.
“It is something a person can quickly access for the most part whether they are at work or at home, and replaces the feeling of stress caused by the craving itself. Ultimately, we are constantly looking for ways to stimulate cravings for healthy activities, such as exercise, but this is a neutral activity that we have shown can have a positive impact.”
The research is published in the Appetite scientific journal.